Imps ‘healthier’ ahead of Ebbsfleet visit

Goalkeeper Joe Anyon is back in contention

Lincoln City will be raring to employ their newfound confidence to full effect when they take on Ebbsfleet at home in the Blue Square Bet Premier on Saturday.

The Imps are languishing just above the league’s relegation zone in 20th but are on a revival of sorts in the first month of manager David Holdsworth’s reins at Sincil Bank.

The former Mansfield chief already brought in several changes, with seven players making their way in to the club, as efforts both on and off the pitch start to show some positive results.

The club’s first league game under Holdsworth yielded a 2-1 win, while last Saturday saw a fighting City lose 2-0 away to league leaders Wrexham.

Speaking ahead of 15th-placed Ebbsfleet’s visit, Holdsworth said: “I’m pleased that some British values are coming into the club and the squad: commitment, honesty, integrity.

“The training ground’s a healthier place. The changes have been for the better and the days of laziness are gone.

“I’ve had to make some quick adjustments to get a better texture and competition for places. The players are probably not in their comfort zone and I’ve got some decisions to make this weekend. That’s a nice position for a manager.”

Richard Hinds and Tyrone Thompson were brought in on permanent deals; meanwhile Paul Farman, Conal Platt, Jake Sheridan and Luke Medly signed loan forms, with Holdsworth also keeping faith in Mitchell Nelson whose loan services were retained for a third time.

At the opposite end, Gavin McCallum, Ali Fuseini and Adam Watts were made available for loan last Monday. Npower League Two side Barnet have since snapped up McCallum, while Holdsworth is considering his options given the club’s financial state.

He added: “I’m hoping to have a couple moving in the right direction for us, regarding the finances. We’ve had a couple of enquiries and we’ll wait and see.”

Midfielder Simon Russell made his return from injury at Wrexham as a substitute — after 10 games out on the sidelines — but Sam Smith was forced off early at the Racecourse ground and will miss tomorrow’s clash.

Regular goalkeeper Joe Anyon is available for selection after serving his three-match ban even as emergency loanee Farman proved his own worth in goals.

Holdsworth was delighted at being spoilt for choice, saying: “That’s one position that Joe is aware of, that he’s now got someone else competing for his shirt.

“Joe is an extremely good goalkeeper. But it’s nice to have two good ones and that’s the reason I brought young Paul in. He’s doing a fine job; he’s been a credit to himself. It’s one selection headache that I’m pleased about.”